The first week might have seemed like a nice break. The second week is probably when boredom started setting in. And now we’re rolling into week 3 and we’ve already worked on a lot of the stuff on our Free Event Tech Training List and watched all of Tiger King. Well, we’re here to help!
This is a completely random list of free stuff we’ve found online that will keep you busy during this shutdown while we wait for the gigs to come back. There are fun things to see and do, free training in things unrelated to our industry, and stuff to keep your kids entertained. For resources related to gigs and the Event Technology industry, check out Social distancing gig guide with tips for surviving the COVID-19 downtime.
We haven’t tried everything on this list, so we can’t vouch for it, so if you find something that’s not working, please let us know. We’ll do our best to update this list often, and if you come across anything free and fun that’s not on the list, let us know in the comments!
Online Board Games to Play with Friends
Yahtzee Party – With this, you’re playing against the clock, so it’s always your turn, but then your score is compared to your friends. A game takes roughly 6 minutes to play.
Monopoly – Monopoly is typically a pretty big time suck, but at a time when a lot of us have a bit of extra time on our hands, it might be the perfect time to play a game
Cards Against Humanity – Cards Against Humanity is kind of the ultimate party game. The online version isn’t quite as fun as playing in person with pals, but you can potentially set up a video chat to go along with the game to spice it up a bit.
Chess – Tabletopia has over 600 different games available, including a number of classic games like Backgammon and Chess.
Uno – Facebook has a TON of different games available, including Uno. If you use the social network, and more importantly, if your friends do, now might be a good time to kick off a game or two.
Astral TableTop – “We opened up all our paid features to play tabletop roleplaying games online until the end of April. We’re encouraging people to keep playing together, even if they’re apart at the moment.”
Learn something new with these apps and websites
Duolingo – Now is as good of a time as ever to start learning another language or brushing up on one you haven’t used in a while.
Khan Academy – It never hurts to brush up on the basics, and Khan Academy has thousands of free lectures and practices on everything from grammar to science.
Udemy – Udemy is an app with tens of thousands of video lectures on a range of topics, from singing courses to event planning.
iTunes U – allows anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to learn from a large collection of free education content in public courses from leading schools, universities, museums, and cultural institutions.
Archive.org – If you’re looking for a large collection of public domain media, your best bet is Archive.org.
National Emergency Library – Archive.org is suspending waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in the lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.
Babbel – Students who are worried about falling behind on language courses can keep up on their studies on their own time.
The Great Courses will release free content to benefit the general public. Included is the course “An Introduction to Infectious Diseases,” taught by Dr. Barry Fox, Clinical Professor of Infectious Disease at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, as well as the short video “Coronavirus Outbreak: What You Need to Know,” led by Dr. Roy Benaroch, acting pediatrician and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine.
Fender Play – Guitar manufacturer Fender is giving those signing up to its Fender Play service three months of free lessons.
Nikon – For the entire month of April, Nikon, a popular camera manufacturer, is offering free online photography classes. There are 10 classes in total, each lead by a professional photographer, and don’t explicitly require a Nikon camera to participate in.
FaceTime – This one should be obvious, but if you and your loved ones own Apple products, like the iPhone, iPad, iMac, or MacBook, using FaceTime to keep in touch can help ease the loneliness of social isolation
JSTOR – one of the biggest repositories of scientific and scholarly articles
Codecademy Pro – free for students (or anyone with a .edu email) for the school year.
Milkstreet – online cooking classes for free.
Tour over 500 Galleries and Museums
Google Arts & Culture – a collection of more the 500 different museums and galleries that you can visit virtually.
Here are links to some of the larger and more iconic collections available:
MoMA – New York
Van Gough Museum – Amsterdam
Uffisi Gallery – Florence
Musee D’Orsay – Paris
The Met – New York
Tate Britain – London
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – Santa Fe
Scottish National Galery – Edinburgh
British Museum – London
Free software to download and try
Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X Free For 90-Days – Apple is currently offering free 90-day trials of its professional video and music editing apps, Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X.
Minimoog Model D Synthesizer – A digital emulation of a legendary analog synthesizer. Normally $4.99, it’s now free to download. Just make to look up how to pronounce Moog correctly.
Affinity by Serif – Serif is making its suite of creative apps, including Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher, free to use for three months.
Zencastr – Maybe you’ve got some extra time to dedicate to that podcast idea you’ve got kicking around. Zencastr is removing limits for its free hobbyist plan during the Coronavirus outbreak, allowing users to host as many guests as they want and unlimited recording time.
Stuff for the kids
Kennedy Space Center Science Lessons – “We are giving lessons on rocketry, from the Saturn 5 center. We’re teaching people how to make rockets at home from recycled materials that are probably lying around the house.”
Disney’s Imagineering in a Box – kids can learn how to build their own world, attractions, and characters.
Caribu – [app] If your little one is missing their friends, set them up on a virtual playdate using Caribu. It functions like FaceTime but allows for on-screen activities, including reading books together, cooperative drawing, and playing games. Normally $7, the service is free during the outbreak and does not require a credit card to use.
Kinedu – If you’ve got a toddler or preschooler at home, Kinedu is a great way to help them gain early learning skills.
Time for Kids – Time is launching their Time For Kids digital library free for the rest of the 2020 school year. Included in the digital library are worksheets, teaching tools, and quizzes for both educators and family members.
Roblox Learn & Explore – Roblox is offering a series of self-paced programs designed to help kids and teens create their first Roblox games.
Audible kid stories – Free audiobooks for children
HBO GO and HBO NOW – From April 3, HBO started to make some of its content available to view from its apps for free. Approximately 500 hours of films and TV shows are streamable as part of the offering, though it is unclear when the free period will end.
Gary Hustwit documentaries – free streaming during the crisis, with the film selection changing each week.
Sling TV – free access to news and entertainment during the COVID-19 outbreak, including channels like ABC News Live and thousands of shows and movies. No credit card required.
Shudder – If you like thriller, suspense, or horror movies, Shudder is offering 30 days of free access to its library for those who use the promo code SHUTIN.
NFL Game Pass – If you’re craving sports, the NFL is extending complimentary access to its Game Pass through May 31. Viewers will be treated to replay games from 2009-2019 in commercial-free HD.
SiriusXM – SiriusXM recently announced that it’s making its full lineup of Premier Streaming content available to users, free of charge and with no credit card requirements.
Adult Swim – Running free 24/7
Netflix Hidden Genre Codes – Full list to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Flightrader24 – Follow flights as they travel the world.
My80sTV – just like watching tv in the 80s.
PlutoTV – A very cool app with a ton of free TV programming
Virtual Concerts – We update this list daily with all the new virtual concerts we see happening for the day
Newspapers that have gone (mostly) free
Travel the World
Tour the Catacombs in Paris – You can’t go to Paris right now, but you can visit the catacombs.
Take a surprise virtual trip – Roll the dice and virtually travel to a random location around the world
Tour a National Park – Google Arts & Culture has virtual tours available of six National Parks including Hawai’i Volcanos, Kenai Fjords, and Carlsbad Caverns.
See Washington’s cherry blossoms – If you aren’t going to make it to see the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC this year you can visit them virtually through the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s website.
Walk the Great Wall of China – Ok, so you’re not exactly going to “walk” across the Great Wall, but you can take a virtual tour of the 3,000-mile wall.
See our Hometown: Atlanta
Georgia Aquarium Livestreams – Get some “face time” with penguins, jellyfish, sea otters, beluga whales, and more on Georgia Aquarium’s multiple webcams.
Virtual Learning with Children’s Museum of Atlanta – To help families keep their little ones engaged, Children’s Museum of Atlanta has debuted a new virtual program called #CMAatHome.
Digital Programming from the National Center for Civil and Human Rights – In the coming weeks, the Center will provide digital programming about promoting and protecting rights.
High Museum of Art – The museum might be closed, but you can explore images, check out activities and watch informative videos
Atlanta History Center Archive – Access everything from books to newspapers and magazines, manuscripts, and visual collections of digitized photographs, audio, and video recordings.
Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) – Check out online challenges, meet-ups, workshops and much more for ages 8 to 18.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History – “Museum at Home” with educational videos, fun facts, behind-the-scenes photos, quizzes and more.
Michael C. Carlos Museum – The museum is posting weekly online exhibits, puzzles, and activities so you can “Carlos from Home.”
College Football Hall of Fame – Every Tuesday and Thursday, join historian and curator Jeremy Swick for a Facebook live discussion on college football facts and artifacts showcased at the hall.
Alliance Theatre – Catch virtual shows, coaching, classes and more.
Center for Puppetry Arts – you’ll find a range of activities including live puppet programs, workshops, and museum tours.
Dad’s Garage Theatre Company – live shows, podcasts, improv performances, and other entertaining events.
How to cut your own hair – Very informative post and video to help men learn how to cut their own hair.
Host a Netflix viewing party with friends – If you and your friends or family have a Netflix subscription, you can schedule a time to watch a movie or show synced together.
Do some spring cleaning now – Tips for disinfecting you home and car
Peloton – 30 Days Free Trial – No equipment needed.
Fit On – Always free workout programs
Just Color – Free adult coloring pages to download and color
Headspace – Headspace has made several of its meditation collections free due to the ongoing pandemic. (Healthcare workers can also get a full subscription for free.)
BitGym – a workout app. There’s a free version, but they are providing access to the pro version until May.
Binge-worthy Websites and Podcasts
Stuff You Should Know Podcast – Lots of fun and free information here
TedTalks – Bite-sized talks that are interesting and informative.
Atlas Obscura – inspire wonder about the incredible world we all share.
All That’s Interesting – Something interesting to read every day
Boredom Therapy – fighting boredom worldwide by engaging our readers with incredibly shareable content.
Project Gutenberg – a library of over 60,000 free eBooks.
Authorama – completely free books from a variety of different authors
Scribd – Scribd is now offering a 30 day free trial with no credit card required. They host over a million titles, including e-books, magazines, audiobooks and more.
Wattpad – If you’re a fan of underground literature, it doesn’t get much more unknown than Wattpad.
Comic Chameleon – If you’re a webcomic fan, it’s high time you check out Comic Chameleon.
Audible – providing hundreds of audiobooks for kids and teens for free, without a subscription.
Z-library – Millions of free books and articles in multiple formats. You can download up to 5 books a day without an account, and up to 10 if you sign up for free. It’s a really great site.
Like we said….random. Hopefully, you found a few things that interest you.
Remember, we’re here for you and we’re in this together. We’ll keep trying to find ways to help you through these trying times, and we’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions for future blog posts or items to add to this list! Tell us in the comments.